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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-124

Population-level interest and trends in meditation and yoga during lockdown imposed due to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic In India: Evidence from Google Trends

1 Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Luxmi Bai Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
3 Independent Researcher, Vancouver, BC, Canada
4 Research Coordinator, William Osler Health System, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhinav Sinha
Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar - 751 023, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcfm.ijcfm_16_21

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Introduction: Yoga and meditation have a potential to give mental peace and calm. The present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced countries to impose lockdown due to its infectious nature, thus restricting people in their homes posing psychosocial impact which can be reduced through yoga. Google Trends (GT) is a proxy indicator for population-level interests, which is used instead of traditional survey methods during pandemic. The objective of this study was to monitor population-level interest and trends in yoga and meditation during lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 in India through GT. Material & Methods: GT is an open-access, web-based tool which provides unfiltered sample of active search requests made to Google. Various keywords related to yoga and meditation were used to retrieve web-based search volume from January 30, 2020, to June 7, 2020, for India. These data were correlated with number of cases and deaths reported due to COVID-19 as an increase in cases and death might lead to stress among masses. Results: The search trends and daily number of confirmed cases were fairly correlated (r = 0.647, P = 0.000). The relative search volume for the search trends was also fairly correlated (r = 0.665, P = 0.000) with number of daily deaths due to COVID-19. States such as Uttarakhand and Goa had a higher share of search whereas Meghalaya and West Bengal searched the least. Conclusion: GT showed an increase in population-level interest in yoga and meditation during COVID-19 lockdown which is a positive indicator for population. This indicates the need for continuity of trend so as to make it a routine habit even after the situation becomes normal.

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